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The Android Setup: Music Fans

The Android Smartphone operating system is a nerd’s delight with so many features, apps, widgets and websites to access at your fingertips it’s sometimes hard to get the device set up exactly how you want it.

Well we at the Gadget Helpline are here to help with “The Android Setup”, and this week we are focusing on all you music fans out there. Whether it be a HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson XPERIA Arc, Samsung Galaxy S II or the Motorola Xoom, we have the setup for you. So whether you like your tunes in the tone of rock with a little Foo Fighters or some classic Led Zep, maybe your ears are goo-goo for Lady Gaga or you have a serious case of Bieber fever we will show you the ultimate Android setup for any music fan.

The Apps

Name: Spotify

By: Spotify Ltd.

Price: Free

OS needed:  Android 1.5 (Cupcake) +

Great for: Streaming music & playlists

Spotify is the first port of call for any true music fan online. Bringing 10-million tracks to your Android mobile this app allows you to create playlists from the unrivalled selection of songs in a variety of genres from uncountable bands and artists. The Spotify App can connect wireless so that all your saved playlists are available on the move at any time, even when offline. Grab this one for free from the Android Market.

Name: MixZing Media Player

By: MixZing Inc.

Price: Free

OS needed: Android 1.5 (Cupcake) +

Great for: Playing your MP3s & music files

MixZing is available and is billed as the “most advanced music player around” – with an app that intelligently identifies your MP3, AAC/M4A and OGG files, bringing up track names and finding missing album art. Optional graphic interfaces bring a total audio visual experience and the app even lets you sort your songs into mood sessions as well as displaying lyrics for millions of songs, should you fancy a sing-along to a fave tune!

Name: TuneIn Radio

By: TuneIn Inc.

Price: Free

OS needed: Android 1.6 (Donut) +

Great for: AM/FM global radio

That’s streaming and MP3 covered, but what about good old fashioned radio? Well the TuneIn Radio app will do that for you. Browse and listen to global or local radio, with over 50,000 stations available covering music & sports on a range of broadcasting services from BBC to SWR. You can even record to your Android gadget, but this you’ll to upgrade to TuneIn Radio Pro – which costs only 60 pence!

Name: SoundHound

By: SoundHound Inc.

Price: Free

OS needed: Android 1.5 (Cupcake) +

Great for: Identifying songs

Remember “Name That Tune”? Well this is basically the app of that! The developers claim that the SoundHound app is the “World’s Fastest Music Recognition” – within four seconds of the music leaving your speaker, the app will identify the song playing and will provide the song title, artist and even lyrics. During those annoying moments where you change stations in the car and hear a catchy tune midway through, this will now identify it for you. However we don’t actually suggest you do this while driving!

The Widgets

Name: WinAmp

By: Nullsoft Inc.

Price: Free

OS needed: Android 1.5 (Cupcake) +

Hailed as the “Ultimate Media Player for Android” the WinAmp app packs a tidy little widget that will sit nicely on your Android gadget home screen in a choice of 4×2 or a slimmed down 4×1 size. Featuring wireless synch with your desktop WinAmp it’s the complete music management solution, playing most imaginable audio file types, as well as radio.

Name: Sleep Timer

By: Patrick Boos

Price: Free

OS needed: Android 1.5 (Cupcake) +

If you like listening to some soothing tunes before bed time (and we’re not really talking Metallica here!) you can set up the Sleep Timer’s widget on your home screen, making it time out and fade out your relaxing music as you drift off to Never Neverland!

In The News

NME (New Musical Express) the UK-based weekly magazine has its mail-out newsletter. Sign up with your email address on the website and you’ll receive two news updates to your mobile email account a week (on Tuesday and Fridays). It’s a handy way to keep in tune with the happenings in the music scene – even after the Wednesday mag has been published. NME is a British institution covering a range of genres and artists both contemporary and classic. Well worth checking out if you’re serious about your music news – Sign up HERE.

MTV News (UK) is another app. This one dedicated to bringing you the latest news from the music world as it happens, in a tidy “Twitter feed” style interface. This app delivers all the gossip about the world’s top bands and artists and, of course, we all know MTV making this one a “must have” app for keeping on top of all music news. You can also share news items with your pals on Facebook and Twitter.

Sadly, it’s due a bit of an upgrade and users have been asking for a widget to be developed for some time, but for news on music of all mainstream genres this is your app!

Just for fun

Name: Guitar Hero 6

By:  Glu Mobile

Price: £4.88

OS needed: Android 2.0 (Eclair) +

“The fate of Rock is in your hands! Become a Warrior of ROCK!”

Now that you’ve had chance to listen to your tunes and caught up with the latest news from around the music world – How about giving it a blast for yourself? Guitar Hero 6 is a fun mobile adaptation of that console classic where there touchscreen of your Android gadget replaces the mock guitar, and the music is made by matching the notes on screen with the touch of a finger. Play along with top bands such as Rolling Stones and Aerosmith. And if you happen to be using a Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY the game is optimised for the gaming Android mobile!

Hopefully the Gadget Helpline has done you proud with this small selection of the apps, widgets and features available from the vast Android universe! Feel free to explore the market for yourself, you may find some other apps which are music to your ears!

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